Ever since the mid-aughts, when they were still spinning parties at tiny north-side dive Town Hall Pub, Chicago-born DJ/production duo Flosstradamus have been motivated by a desire to combine rap music’s aesthetics with the energy and inclusiveness of dance-music culture. When they started out, that meant spinning Jock Jams techno alongside Dirty South rap to crowds of hipsters and hip-hop kids, but today, with more than a million followers on Soundcloud, they’re at the forefront of “trap music,” which updates this blend by combining contemporary EDM and the trap sound that’s been dominating southern rap lately. This year they proved their bona fides on both sides, first signing with dance label Ultra Music, home to arena-filling acts Kaskade and Benny Benassi, and then spending a month in Atlanta, trap rap’s spiritual home, recording with local superstars such as Waka Flocka Flame. “Mosh Pit,” the first single from those sessions, matches criminally overlooked Future associate Casino with a twitchy, booming beat that pretty much demands slam dancing. —Miles Raymer Been Trill, DJ Spinz, and Phnm open. Flosstradamus also plays on Tue 12/31. $30
Psych-rock pioneer and former 13th Floor Elevators front man Roky Erickson gets far out with a pair of year-end dates. $30
Beavis and Butt-Head earned international notoriety for promoting teenage stupidity, but they occasionally made some astute observations: while watching the video for “Existence Is Punishment,” from Crowbar’s 1993 landmark self-titled LP, Butt-Head says, “This music is slow and fat.” That record, produced by Pantera’s Philip Anselmo, helped define the southern sludge-metal sound, which in many ways is exactly as Butt-Head described it. On Crowbar, the band even turned Zeppelin’s relatively delicate and introspective “No Quarter” into an earth-cracking plod, each note detonating like a bomb. Singer and guitarist Kirk Windstein has been the only constant member of the band—which celebrates its 25th anniversary at this show—and over the years he’s filled out Crowbar’s roster with players from fellow New Orleans extreme-metal acts such as Pantera, Eyehategod, Goatwhore, and Acid Bath. No matter who backs Windstein up, though, Crowbar’s records have always been punishingly, devastatingly slow and fat. —Luca Cimarusti Thunder Driver and the Ox King open. $40
The story of Detroit protopunk trio Death is a good one—though not quite good enough to support the full-length 2012 documentary A Band Called Death—and it’s been told many times since 2009, when Drag City released a collection of the group’s 1975 studio recordings called . . . For the Whole World to See. The Hackney brothers were surrounded by the sounds of Motown during their formative years, but in the early 70s, when singer and guitarist David got hooked on hard-rock bands such as the Who and the Stooges, he convinced his brothers Dannis, who played drums, and Bobby, who played bass, to follow him down the same path. As Death they found no real success in their day, releasing only one scorching single, “Politicians in My Eyes” b/w “Keep on Knocking,” on a small regional label. That record came out in 1976, and a few years later the Hackneys—bitter after Columbia Records rejected them for refusing to change the band’s name—moved to Burlington, Vermont, where they became the Fourth Movement and began playing gospel rock. The Drag City release, which augmented the single with tracks made around the same time, reveals Death’s music as a precursor to punk, with more high-speed energy than fellow Detroit pioneers the MC5 and the Stooges—their style came closer to the jackhammer rhythms of Bad Brains. In 2011 Drag City scraped the barrel to release Spiritual-Mental-Physical, a collection of ten tracks recorded in the band’s home studio; the sound quality is rougher and the material isn’t as strong, but a couple of loose, jazz-informed jams make the Hackneys’ love of Jimi Hendrix clear. When the reconstituted Death played the Empty Bottle in September 2009, they fleshed out the set with material from Dannis and Bobby’s reggae band, Lambsbread—whose guitarist, Bobbie Duncan, has replaced the late David Hackney. I assume this concert, their first in Chicago since then, will include tracks from the 2011 collection. —Peter Margasak Rabble Rabble, Le Tour, and El Mejor open. $25, $20 in advance, $50-$80 for VIP
Midwestern punk rock perfectly crafted for guzzling tons and tons of beer. $25
This hugely popular, forty-year-old rock band headlines two New Year's shows tonight. $85, $125 for premiere, $175 for VIP
Founding Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist and his psych-funk band play.
Call 'em what you want—alt-rock, Americana, adult contemporary—the dudes from Waukesha, Wisconsin, are heading down for New Year's. $49.50-$59.50
The jazz and funk saxophonist, who's performed with everyone from Lenny Kravitz to Slightly Stoopid, will be playing with his own Tiny Universe band.
Austin's blues and soul revivalist with a soft spot for James Brown. $71, $61 in advance
This massive punk-rock marching band turns any place it shows up into a huge party. What better way to ring in the new year? $28, $25 in advance
The rapper from the Doomtree collective has been described as "Mos Def plus Dorothy Parker." $35, $30 in advance
This Texas-based, alt-country songwriter brings some Austin flavor with his band, the Sensitive Boys. $65-$80
The massive emo institution teams up with the local pop-punk mainstays for a good-vibes celebration. $100
It wouldn't be New Year's Eve without a performance from this heavy-hitting local alt-rock duo. $30, $27 in advance